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Welcome to the help center for DoubleClick Search, a platform for managing search marketing campaigns.  While the help center is available to the public, access to the DoubleClick Search product is available only to subscribing customers who are signed in. To subscribe or find out more, contact our sales team.

Create and report on AdWords dynamic search ads in DoubleClick Search

About AdWords dynamic search ads in DoubleClick Search

Dynamic search ads is an AdWords feature you can use to automatically show ads when a customer's search is relevant to your site. You tell Google which pages of your site you want to advertise. Then Google uses its search index of your website—instead of keywords—to determine when a customer's search is relevant to your targets.

Instead of spending time researching and harvesting keywords, you can focus on adding useful and appealing ad descriptions along with rich descriptions to the content of your site. 

Works alongside keywords

Within an engine account, dynamic search ads do not compete against exact-match keywords for available ad slots in the AdWords auction. Any time a keyword in the engine account (from any campaign) exactly matches a search query, AdWords will place the keyword in the auction and ignore any relevant dynamic ad targets in the engine account. However, when a customer's search term matches a broad match or phrase match keyword, Google uses ad rank to determine whether the keyword or dynamic search ad is included in the auction. Learn more about dynamic search ads and ad rank on the AdWords Help Center.

You're still in control

With dynamic search ads, you control which pages on your site can be used for dynamic search ads, as well as the ad templates, bids, and budget. As with traditional campaigns, campaigns with dynamic search ads can use negative keywords and negative dynamic ad targets to avoid showing ads on searches that don't convert into sales.

AdWords campaigns, Search network only

Dynamic search ads are available only in AdWords campaigns that are targeted to the Search network. They are not available for the following types of campaigns:

  • Shopping campaigns
  • Manual campaigns that are targeted to the Display network

Learn more about dynamic search ads on the AdWords Help Center.

Dynamic ad groups for dynamic search ads

Recently, AdWords created a dynamic ad group especially for dynamic search ads. You can create dynamic ad groups in DS by using the DS user interface or by upload. Learn more about AdWords dynamic ad groups in DS.

Dynamic search ads from DS

From DoubleClick Search (DS), you can:

  • Create dynamic search ads and set up dynamic ad targets (which define the pages on your site to advertise) in dynamic ad groups. You can create dynamic search ads and dynamic targets either from the UI or bulksheets. If you created dynamic search ads and targets in AdWords, you can sync them into DS
  • View the customer searches that matched your dynamic ad targets. Then you can add keywords or negative keywords to better match your advertising to customer intent.
  • Report on:
    • Engine metrics, such as clicks and impressions.
    • Conversions recorded by Floodlight activities, AdWords conversion tracking, or Google Analytics.

URLs for dynamic search ads and targets

By default, dynamic search ads and targets inherit the dynamic tracking URL specified in the engine account's URL template, which is {unescapedlpurl} (unless you've edited the template). When AdWords serves a dynamic search ad, it applies the URL template to a landing page URL for your site.

Instead of inheriting the engine account's URL template,  you can create a template at the campaign or ad group level. Or if you want to specify unique URL parameters for each ad or target, you can create a template at the dynamic search ad or dynamic target level.  

Note that dynamic targets created before mid-August, 2016, specify their own URL template (DoubleClick Search automatically created these target-level URL templates). As a result, these older dynamic targets override any templates you specify higher up by default. If you want these dynamic targets to inherit a URL template from a higher level, you'll need to resume inheritance by removing the URL template DS created.

Expanded and standard ad formats

By default, new dynamic search ads that you create in DoubleClick Search are in the expanded format. If you've already created expanded dynamic search ads in AdWords, be sure to sync in the change. After the sync completes, you can manage and report on the ads from DS.

Dynamic search ads in the standard format will continue to serve, and you can report on them along with expanded dynamic search ads in both AdWords and DS. You can still use DS to create dynamic search ads in the standard format, but at some point in the future AdWords  and DS may stop supporting the standard format for new dynamic search ads.

Unsupported features

DS doesn’t yet support the following features for dynamic search ads:

  • Bid strategies. Note that DS doesn't prevent you from applying a DS bid strategy to a campaign that is set up for dynamic search ads, but metrics, such as cost, aren't included in bid strategy reports.
  • Attribution models other than last click.
  • Downloading reports from the DoubleClick Search API.
  • Including reporting data in executive reports.

Ready to get started?

  1. Set up a new or existing AdWords campaign for dynamic search ads.
    If you've already created dynamic search ads in AdWords, you can sync the change into DS.
  2. Create a dynamic ad group in AdWords or use a bulksheet to create dynamic ad groups in DS.
  3. Add a dynamic search ad to a dynamic ad group.
  4. Set up dynamic targets.
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